Man hit by bus entitled to almost $6 million in damages due to permanent disability
By Hannah Garcia
LAW WEEK COLORADO
For the attorneys who helped a man left with severe injuries from a bus collision win the largest personal injury award in the state last year, the case was more about the “beauty of a jury trial.”
“The parties stand on equal footing,” personal injury attorney Steve Wahlberg said.
David McDonald, a husband and father of four children, was walking across a crosswalk at Broadway and 19th Avenue in Denver when a Horizon Coach Lines bus hit him and rolled up on his leg, an accident that caused a “degloving” of his upper left leg requiring seven surgeries and “extensive” skin grafts.
The bus line admitted negligence in the accident and agreed to pay McDonald’s economic losses but tried to claim he was comparatively negligent during a jury trial that ran from Dec. 14-17 in Denver District Court in front of Judge Karen Brody. In McDonald v. Evergreen Trails, the jury awarded McDonald $936,020 for pain and suffering, $394,000 in economic losses and $3.7 million in physical impairment and disfigurement for a total of almost $6 million after costs and interest.
The jury found the bus line 100 percent at fault, freeing McDonald from any negligence claim and any reduction in his final award. Verdicts are reduced by the percentage of fault, if any, assigned to a plaintiff.